After spending a week or so being carefully monitored in the hospital after your operation, you’re no doubt eager to get home. However, there is still the matter of taking care of your bypass surgery home recovery. Most will make a full recovery in 12 weeks, but a lot of that time is spent either recovering at home or at a cardiac rehabilitation facility.
For at-home bypass surgery recovery, you’ll be taught how to take care of your wound in order to prevent infection as well as what you can expect as far as side-effects in the next following weeks. You’ll also be instructed on how to act preventatively in order to halt the progression of your Coronary Artery Disease.
More information on all the points mentioned below.
At-Home Wound Care Instructions
As a result of the surgery, you will have to learn how to take care of the stitches (which will gradually dissolve as the wound heals) that were placed at the operation’s incision points — one of which is at your chest and the other will be from whatever part of the body the artery or vein was grafted from (your arms or legs.)
These will definitely scar, however, if you take proper care of the wound while it is still healing, it should prevent any infections and reduce the risk for possible complications. You’ll be told exactly how you can do this, but, for the most part, it’s just a matter of keeping the wound area clean and making sure to keep it out of the sun while it is still healing.
You will probably also experience a couple of the more common side-effects, which is completely normal. These tend to disappear after the first month or month and a half. However, there are those who take the full three months (twelve weeks) to recover.
According to the NHS, the most common side-effects experienced post bypass surgery includes the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling or stinging sensations at the graft removal point
- Back or muscle pain
- Lethargy and insomnia
- Depression and mood swings
If you are struggling with any one of these side-effects or are experiencing chest pain, fevers, shortness of breath, or increased pain around your wound area, then the best thing to do is to seek medical attention immediately.
There’s also a matter of actively ‘recovering’ at home and making changes in your lifestyle that will act as preventative measures. You’ll be instructed on what type of recovery plan is best for you depending on what your body needs and what it can handle.
However, most people are allowed and recommended to perform light physical activity a couple of days after they are discharged — with more strenuous activities limited until after the first six weeks (which is when most people are able to start actively recovering.)
Conclusion: Bypass Surgery Home Recovery
Even after you’ve made full recovery, you will still need to adopt healthy lifestyle changes that will allow you to keep your condition tempered. Most people will still need a secondary intervention in the following decade or so. However, in the meanwhile, you can act proactively to prolong your own good health.
- NHS Choices, NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-artery-bypass-graft-cabg/recovery/.